MMEA detains two vessels carrying out illegal ship-to-ship fuel transfer

MOHD FAHMI MOHD YUSOF

KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency's (MMEA) yesterday detained a tanker ship and a fishing vessel that were suspected of carrying out illegal ship-to-ship (STS) fuel transfer. Sedili Maritime Zone director Captain (M) Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said in the 4.05pm incident, the fishing vessel FUYUANYU 677 tanker MT SENTEK 33 also failed to furnish permits to anchor in Malaysian waters. He said the two ships were detected anchored by an MMEA patrol team at about 3.6 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Penyusup, Pengerang. He said preliminary checks revealed that the vessels were in the midst of fuel STS. “During inspection, the China-registered ship, FV FUYUANYU 677, with 11 Chinese national crew aged 28 to 50 onboard was found to be receiving fuel, believed to be Marine Gas Oil (MGO), from MT SENTEK 33. “MT SENTEK 33 that was registered in Singapore was ferrying seven crew comprised Indonesians, Myanmar nationals and Singaporeans aged between 28 and 69. “During checks, captains of both vessels failed to furnish permits to anchor here and carry out STS,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Zulfadli said the case would be investigated under Section 49 1B(1)(k) of Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for failing to inform the Marine Department director of ship-to-ship activity in Malaysian waters and Section 49 1(B)(1)(l) of the same act for anchoring without permission. “If found guilty, (vessel owners) could face (maximum) fine up to RM100,000 and two years’ jail. “The case will also be investigated under Fisheries Act 1985 as it involved a fishing vessel operating here without approvals in accordance to the act,” he said, adding that five of the ships crew members were sent to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime office for further investigation. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd